Dixie State volleyball hopes to battle through tough schedule

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University head volleyball coach Robyn Felder announced the release of the Red Storm’s 2013 women’s volleyball schedule Friday, as the team looks to open its second season of play under her leadership.

Felder’s squad has a significant amount of depth returning with nine players from last year’s team. They also welcome the experience of four junior college transfers and five from the high school ranks.

Dixie State begins the season with five scrimmages, four of them on the road at the Westminster (Utah) Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City over the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24. Its final scrimmage is at home against a group of DSU Alumni in the newly renovated Student Activities Center (Old Gym) on Saturday, Aug. 31.

The Red Storm opens its 2013 campaign at home for the first time in the D2 era. They have a set of non-conference matches with first-time opponent Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 6 and 7. They hit the road for the first time to compete in the I.C Bhakta Volleyball Invitational in Las Vegas, N.M. DSU opens the tournament with Colorado Mesa in a mid-morning match and then does battle with the host school New Mexico Highlands later that evening. On the final day of the invite, DSU takes on Colorado Christian and Western New Mexico. All four of the schools are members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).

“The opening of the season will be a brutal two-week stretch for us,” Felder said. “The trip north is a 4-hour bus ride and four matches in two days. Then we come home for a week, have a back-to back, take an 11-hour bus ride south, and play another four matches in two days. It will give our coaching staff a chance to evaluate different lineups before the conference begins. Players get the opportunity to step up and own their spots.”

The Red Storm begins its 20-game Pacific West Conference schedule in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sept. 20 against Holy Names. They continue the four-game road swing against Notre Dame de Namur (Sept. 21), Dominican (Sept. 23) and conclude the trip against Academy of Art on Sept. 24.

DSU returns home for a three-game home stand by welcoming 2012 PacWest runner-up Fresno Pacific to town on Sept. 28, Dominican on Sep. 30 and Azusa Pacific on Oct. 5.

The Red Storm returns to the road for three matches in three days on a tough road swing to Southern California. They begin on Oct. 10 in Riverside, Calif. against California Baptist. They continue on Oct. 11 as they travel to San Diego to do battle with Point Loma Nazarene and conclude the trip on Oct. 12 against Azusa Pacific.

After a day off, the Red Storm return to action at home against Notre Dame de Namur on Oct. 14 and Holy Names on Oct. 19.

DSU will then hit the road for the final time by closing out the month of October in Hawaii, flying to play three matches in three days for the second time in two weeks. They’ll begin the trip on the big island of Hawaii by taking on Hawaii Hilo on Oct. 24. They will board for a short flight to Oahu and battle Hawaii Pacific on Oct. 25 and end the trip by heading to the north shore on Oct. 26 to tangle with 2012 PacWest Champion BYU-Hawaii.

In November the Red Storm conclude their season with its final five matches at home in the Student Activities Center. They open on Nov. 2 with California Baptist, and then welcome three Hawaii schools, Hawaii Hilo (Nov. 6), Hawaii Pacific (Nov. 9), and Chaminade (Nov. 11). They conclude the season with an afternoon match on Nov. 16 against Point Loma Nazarene.

“This is the first year we have ever had back-to-back-to-backs on our schedule,” said Felder. “Last year we had Thursday/Saturday matches scheduled. From a coaching standpoint, formulating offensive and defensive gameplans for three consecutive matches will require extra concentration in our scouting and preparation.”

Dixie State looks to rebound from its 2012 season where it went 7-14 overall and a 5-11 in PacWest play.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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